Traverse City Record-Eagle

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April 17, 2013

Who will repair Hoosier Valley Road?

TRAVERSE CITY — Residents and Traverse City Area Schools officials agreed about one thing: Hoosier Valley Road is in deplorable shape.

“It takes me about 20 minutes to get from my house to Beitner Road,” resident Dave Cook said. “That’s about 2.5 miles, and it just beats the (expletive) out of my truck.”

Cook said the dirt road’s condition deteriorated because of increased traffic in recent years, and he and other residents want to see the Grand Traverse County Road Commission turn the winding stretch into gravel.

The road commission can’t fix the road alone, though. State law allows counties to cover only 50 percent of the cost of local road improvements. The rest of the money has to come from elsewhere.

“Generally from the local municipality,” said Jim Cook, road commission manager.

Blair Township has considered working with the road commission to turn the dirt road into gravel, township Supervisor Pat Pahl said. But the project would cost about $1 million.

Neither the township nor the road commission can afford that, Pahl said.

Blair Township could create a special assessment wherein residents who directly benefit from the project contribute to its funding.

But Sara Gindin and other residents don’t want to pay a special assessment, especially when much of the traffic on the road results from an unofficial gun range on nearby state land and the faith-based equine therapy PEACE Ranch located on the road.

“We’re not the ones putting the vehicles on the road,” she said. “I’m just ready to cry because I don’t know what do anymore.”

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